When Division-3 girls basketball coaches met this past weekend to vote for the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches All-State teams, they shared a similar sentiment about Shoreland Lutheran star Chelby Koker.
Kenosha County’s all-time leading girls scorer was just a fun one to watch.
But not fun to coach against.
Koker picked up another big-time honor Monday, as she was a unanimous All-State selection on the heels of a 777-point effort for the season, good for a 32.4 per-game average, which was second in the state to only Milwaukee Academy of Science’s Shermera Williams.
“(She’s) an amazing talent,” said Shoreland Lutheran coach Holly Bahr, who also was on the selection committee. “A lot of coaches just really enjoyed watching her play, how smooth and fluid she is and how she sees the court.
“I know a lot of the coaches in our conference didn’t enjoy coaching against her, but I did have quite a few email and wish us luck and say how much fun she is to watch.”
Koker, who will play at the NCAA Division I level at Northern Illinois, also averaged 9.2 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 3 steals a game. She made 78 3-pointers and was 226-of-266 from the free-throw line.
Even at 5-foot-6, rebounding is something that Koker also excelled at, her coach said.
“She innately knows where the ball is going and just reads it well, which helps her out,” Bahr said. “Rebounding is 99 percent desire and the attitude that it’s going to be my ball.”
In her final high school campaign, Koker had five games of more than 40 points and 15 of more than 30. Koker closed her career with 2,448 points and is the only county player, boy or girl, to surpass the 2,000-point plateau.
Koker joins former Shoreland standouts Taylor Bahr and Ellie Harmeyer on the All-State list — and she fits right in, Holly Bahr said.
“I’ve said it before, I’m just blessed to work with talented athletes and just good, Christian, hardworking girls who love the game,” she said. “They’re coachable, they’re good teammates and enjoy playing basketball. That just sums Chelby up. She’s just a good, solid young woman.”
Bahr sees the next level as another place where Koker can blossom, as her style seems to fit what Northern Illinois likes to do.
And one thing’s for sure, she’s going to give it everything she has.
“I know they play a style like we play, and they really loved how she handled the ball, how well she shoots it and sees the floor,” Bahr said. “I know she’ll do whatever it takes to be successful on the next level.”
Joining Koker on the All-State Team were Kewaunee senior Sara Dax, Wrightstown junior Ella Diny, Freedom sophomore Callie Genke, Amery senior Madelyn Granica, Marshall sophomore Anna Lutz, Platteville junior Sami Martin, Wisconsin Dells senior Katelyn Meister, Marshall sophomore Mia Morel, Laconia senior Kiarra Otto and Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau senior Lexi Wagner.
Koker, Otto and Wagner were unanimous selections.
Named to the honorable mention team were Waupun freshman Abbie Aalsma, Laconia senior Alissa Dins, Wrightstown junior Bridget Froehlke, Lodi senior Alana Gilles, Amherst senior Ashley Groshek, Hayward senior Emily Neff, Elk Mound senior Morgan Radtke, Kiel senior Savannah Walsdorf and Prescott senior Haylee Yaeger.
The voting panel included Bahr, Joe Brennan (Hayward), Tom Cowley (Arcadia), Mike Vander Loop (Freedom), Jeremy Buschman (Kiel), Lora Staveness (Madison Edgewood), Tim Aalsma (Waupun) and Liz Cook (Mayville).